Working on transitional justice, leveraging expertise in international criminal law, and filling gaps within various accountability processes in countries of implementation, PEJ partners with national organizations and legal groups representing communities to conduct legal research and analysis and pursue innovative legal strategies. Working with local partners, PEJ collects and analyzes evidence, builds case files, identifies the available judicial mechanisms for potential cases, drafts legal submissions, and represents victims and survivors in legal proceedings. PEJ's adaptable methodology - National Hub Development, Litigation Practice Group, and Justice Incubator - is a three-part model that is not prescriptive and can be applied in conflict and post-conflict situations to wide a range of criminal matters and serious human rights abuses.
National Hub Development
Number of Persons Attending and Gaining Knowledge
Total Capacity Building Events
Pieces of Evidence Collected
Pieces of Evidence Preserved and Analyzed by PEJ
PEJ is instrumental in the developing and creating national hubs to accelerate innovation and encourage critical thinking across the legal and human rights sector and relevant stakeholders in countries of implementation. They are long-term, sustainable, rights-based, community-centered solutions to ensure that the most marginalized and vulnerable access justice.
These hubs aim to build an ecosystem of diverse lawyers, civil society organizations, grassroots activists, and human rights defenders at the national level, who are actively documenting atrocity crimes and serious human rights violations, ensuring the integrity of the evidence and wellbeing of victims, applying a gender perspective, and amplifying the voices of survivors.
Acting as vital participatory spaces to ensure people's rights and freedoms, the hubs increase the coordination and collaboration of the stakeholders in their legal and transitional justice initiatives and pursuits of accountability. While the hubs are launched at the national level because of the individualized aspects of each country's conflict or post-conflict situation, PEJ will also identify opportunities for the hub stakeholders to interact at the regional and international levels and come together to share experiences and solutions.
Sudan Human Rights Hub
In 2020, PEJ and its partner, Gisa Group, launched the Sudan Human Rights Hub, an ecosystem of lawyers, civil society organizations, grassroots community groups, and human rights defenders that supports a holistic and inclusive transitional justice process in Sudan. It provides increased access to national, regional, and international legal experts in best investigative practices, international criminal law, human rights, and other relevant fields, like environmental violations, economic and financial crimes, human trafficking, and corruption.
Ethiopia Human Rights Defenders’ Hub
The Human Rights Defenders· Hub in Ethiopia was launched in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The hub aims to increase justice and accountability for serious human rights abuses and improve human rights protection and observation over the next three years.
Litigation Practice Group
International Criminal Law
International Human Rights
International Humanitarian Law
U.S. CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF BNP PARIBAS, FOR VIOLATING U.S. SANCTIONS IN SUDAN, CUBA, AND IRAN
In 2015, as part of a U.S. criminal prosecution, PEJ collected 1010 witness accounts and submitted a legal brief to the Department of Justice (DOJ) detailing BNP's alleged role in the Sudanese conflict and the harm it caused to victims. The French Bank ultimately pled guilty to violating the sanctions, and the DOJ required it to forfeit almost 9 billion USD. PEJ supported the DOJ in its attempt to use some of these funds as reparations for the victims. However, the U.S. Congress redirected the funds to American terrorist victims before any reparations could be paid.
TRAINING HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORS IN SOUTH SUDAN
Since 2017, PEJ has provided in-person training and continuous action-learning through remote mentoring to our South Sudanese local partner. With an emphasis on sexual and gender-based violence investigations. PEJ works alongside the local monitors to document the ongoing serious human rights violations across the country. The local monitors interview witnesses and survivors and draft investigative reports. PEJ reviews these reports and sends back feedback to the monitors. We then publish anonymous advocacy reports with recommendations and legal analysis.
REPARATIONS FOR INDIGENOUS CHILDREN IN SOUTH KORDOFAN & BLUE NILE, SUDAN (TWO AREAS)
In August 2018, PEJ and its partners submitted a Communication before the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The regional mechanism that assesses human rights violations committed by States against children. Our
Communication detailed the bombing campaign and attacks by the Sudanese government against the people of the Two Areas and the resulting harm to the children. Between September and December 2020. under the auspices of the Committee. PEJ and the Sudanese government negotiated an amicable settlement in the case. This agreement is one of only 11 settlements reached before the Committee in decades.
In recognition of the human rights violations in the Two Areas, the transitional Sudanese government will acknowledge its responsibility and offer condolences to the victims. The Sudanese government has also committed to reconstructing schools and hospitals that were destroyed and allowing unfettered humanitarian access into the Two Areas, as well as to engage in legal reforms.
TARGETED SANCTIONS UNDER THE U.S. GLOBAL MAGNITSKY ACT
In 2019, PEJ and a partner drafted and submitted an application for sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against an armed militia group responsible for serious human rights violations. PEJ submitted the application to the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and presented its case in Washington D.C. Following the presentation to OFAC. PEJ drafted and submitted a supplemental brief focusing on this group's connections to other terrorist groups. The U.S. imposed sanctions against the group and its leaders at the end of 2019, and additional countries did the same in 2020. This turnaround, from application to sanctions, was one of the shortest ever.
PEJ’s Justice Incubator aims to engage youth lawyers and build the next generation of diverse leaders who will expedite justice for marginalized and vulnerable groups not adequately protected under the law. We amplify the voices of youth, enabling an environment in which they can contribute to and create forward-leaning solutions for increasing access to justice for all.
During this one-year incubator, these young lawyers will receive practical training and guidance from national, regional, and international experts working on cross-border legal matters. Furthermore, they will develop a standalone human rights project that realizes their goal of one day leading their own NGO, social enterprise, or other entity. These lawyers will obtain the skills necessary to stand up against human rights abuses and mass atrocities around the world.